NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn attacked rival Bill de Blasio on Sunday, after a newspaper report claimed he met with a “slumlord” on Staten Island.
The New York Daily News reported Sunday that de Blasio “offered his help” to Staten Island property owner Michael Shah with more than 200 code violations, and that weeks earlier, Shah had donated the maximum $4,950 to de Blasio and had begun acting as an “intermediary” to raise $11,850 in additional funds.
“This is not an example of the public advocate supporting or advocating for the public. He is supporting and advocating a slumlord who is a donor and campaign fundraiser for him,” Quinn said.
The newspaper reported Shah’s buildings, at 195 and 231 Steuben St. on Staten Island, have racked up more than 200 code violations – including major problems with elevator breakdowns.
De Blasio aides said the public advocate met with Shah in 2011 as Shah was hoping to reduce property taxes on some buildings with low-income tenants. Shah had donated the funds to de Blasio weeks earlier, the newspaper reported.
Quinn pointed out that de Blasio is known for looking out for the public with his “Worst Landlords” list.
“Here you have the public advocate out of one side of mouth saying he’s a watchdog against slumlords with his ‘Worst Landlords’ list,” she said. “But then on the other hand, he’s having private meetings with a slumlord.”
A de Blasio spokeswoman said Shah did not mention the contributions at the meeting, the newspaper reported. She added that the public advocate’s job is to advocate for anyone – be it a tenant, business owner or “everyday New Yorker” – in helping navigate city bureaucracy.
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